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Volkswagen to Make a New Model above the Passat

March 26, 2015

Volkswagen is working on a new plus-sized sedan that will slot in above the Passat but below the now mostly discontinued Phaeton. VW is planning to try and grow the large sedan market in both the US and in China with the new offering. Hopefully it performs better than the Phaeton did, otherwise VW will be counting their losses once again. There is no official word that the car is going to be produced, but if it does enter production it isn’t likely to do so for a few years still.

2015-Volkswagen-Passat

A Sporty Look

There’s no word whether it’s going to be built on top of the Audi MLB or VW MQB platform, but the new sedan will be sportier and sleeker than either the Phaeton or the Passat. It will be equipped with high power components and sporty features to match. The car’s likely to come in both a sedan and hatchback configuration as well.

Engine Options

There are likely to be a couple different engine options to choose from for owners of the vehicle. At the top level of the power range it’s possible that 300 or 272 HP V6 engine will be used. Another power option is likely to be a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Either engine that’s chosen is going to rely on a modern dual transmission setup. The engine will likely offer both two and all-wheel drive giving buyers the choice of what they want. The car’s projected price is around $36,000 which puts the vehicle at the bottom of the premium range and would put it up against entry level premiums such as offerings from Audi.

VW experts believe that releasing this type of car makes sense for the time, and that it will catch on. If the car does get the go ahead it’s likely to be released in 2017 and would offer a new option for customers looking for something larger than the impala and a bit more exciting to drive around without being as massive as the phaeton.

More Exciting Feel

The improved engine options and sporty physique will help to infuse some excitement into the VW lineup, especially at the full-size edge. While the Passat is a very reliable vehicle it isn’t all that exciting. This new option should give thrill seekers a bit more of what they are after and consequently draw in additional customers.

 

The Improvements that Come with the 2015 Passat Limited Trim

March 17, 2015

Volkswagen recently announced more information about the Limited version of the 2015 Passat included what it’s going to be priced at. The new upper-class Passat variant comes in at a reasonable $23,995, just a few thousand over the base model. For that added price you get a bunch of added features and styling improvements that aren’t present on the lower models.

2015 vw passat limited

What you Get with the Trim

The first thing that people want to know about the Limited model is what you get extra for the additional money. The media system of the vehicle is highly upgraded. It comes with a touchscreen display and an eight speaker stereo system. It also has satellite radio built into it for those who want more channels to choose from. The car has an improved look, both inside and out. On the outside there are 17 inch aluminum wheels and a set of fog lights that you won’t see on the base model. The car is accented by chrome window surrounds as well.

Once you climb inside the cabin you’ll notice a leather-like material covering the seats. The steering wheel as well as the shifter and parking brake are all wrapped in leather as well for a more classy look that enhances comfort. The seats of the vehicle have all been improved for more comfort as well. The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable and comes with power lumbar support for comfort during extended drives.

A Powerful Drivetrain

The Passat comes with a highly efficient four-cylinder engine, but it’s turbocharged for a surprising level of power that will give you a satisfyingly quick level of acceleration. The engine has a 1.8 liter displacement and is tied to Volkswagen’s smooth six speed automatic transmission for a high level of efficiency. The car has an EPA rating of 24 MPG in town and 36 on the highway.

Building on What Works

The Passat is well-known for having plenty of seating room and being a comfortable vehicle for the whole family. That aspect of the vehicle remains the same in the upper level trim packages as well and not only is the Limited Passat still very spacious, but it also has more comfortable seats making it even more enjoyable to ride around in.

The enhanced Passat trim package comes with enough new features to make the price worthwhile, and it’s designed to bring a touch of luxury to a family class vehicle. It’s enjoyable to drive, and will make you love being a Passat owner even more.

 

Volkswagen Passat Receives Car of the Year at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

March 4, 2015

Volkswagen is having a good year so far for motor vehicles and they’ve taken a major award in the United States and now over in Europe for two of their vehicles. The VW Golf managed to win the 2015 North American Car of the Year award at the Detroit North American International Auto Show, and now the Passat has snagged the Car of the Year award from the Geneva Motor Show, strengthening the VW name even more.

2015 volkswagen passat

How the Car was Chosen

An extensive system was used to judge the different vehicles being considered. There were seven different cars being considered for the award. Each of these cars was tested by all of the 58 judges that made the final decision. The judges are from among 22 different countries from around the world, and they were charged with making a decision based and their experiences with the vehicle as well as what they know about each. The Passat managed to best cars like the Ford Mondeo, the BMW 2 Series and the Mercedes C-Class to take the top spot.

The Positives

According to the journalists who looked at the Passat it has several major innovations that set it apart from some of the other vehicles considered. The spacious interior offers comfortable seating area for everyone and is made from quality materials. The overall quality of the vehicle is very high when compared to some of the other options out on the market The Passat also comes with some useful features that aren’t seen on other vehicles like the Trailer Assist. Couple all those improvements with the enhanced safety of the vehicle and you get a pretty impressive package overall.

A Winning Tradition

Over the past six years Volkswagen has managed to win the top title on three different occasions. It’s through achievements like these that VW shows their commitment to making quality vehicles and that should inspire confidence in Volkswagen owners a bit more.

Even though it’s still early in 2015 it’s easy to see that this is going to be a big year for Volkswagen. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them set a few sales records this year. While the Geneva Motor Show has already started for journalists and industry experts, the public show doesn’t begin until March 5th and runs all the way through the 15th if you want a chance to see some of these revolutionary new vehicles in person.

The Volkswagen Alltrack is a Highly Capable Driver Not Available in the US

February 25, 2015

Volkswagen is showing off the newest version of their very capable Passat Alltrack station wagon at the Geneva Auto Show this year and it looks like it has been dramatically improved upon since the last release. The new vehicle comes with more capable performance and handling features, and is also built with added comfort in mind. Unfortunately this same vehicle isn’t going to be available in the United States, and VW might not make it available at all.

2016 VW Alltrack

Highly Capable Handling

Volkswagen built the 2016 Passat Alltrack on top of the lightweight and durable MQB platform. It comes with an advanced all-wheel drive system that is built for stability but also for efficiency. The system relies on the front two wheels during standard driving conditions, and then adjusts to provide power through all the wheels when conditions start to become poor. The system helps maintain smooth and effective traction most of the time, and you won’t notice road conditions becoming dicey by the way the vehicle handles because it switches to the more capable all-wheel drive before traction becomes a real issue.

On top of the all-wheel drive, the vehicle also comes with dynamic handling adjustments. They can be tailored to go from economy mode to sport mode depending on the level of power and performance you are looking for. The system even comes with an offroad mode that will help improve traction and handling safety when you want to drive to the local mountain bike trails.

More Enjoyable Towing

The Alltrack is capable of towing more than 4,800 lbs. as long as the owner opts for the towbar addon. Any trips that travel over roads with a grade of 12 percent or less will allow towing up to that level. If you know that you will be travelling at a higher grade than 12 percent you’ll have to decrease the weight that you tow a bit.

On top of the effective towing capacity, the vehicle also comes along with a Tow Assist system. The system is designed to make backing up easier while towing a trailer. Cameras are mounted at the back of the vehicle and they take a look at the angle between the trailer and the back of the vehicle to help the vehicle adjust and compensate for the way that the angle is changing. This allows the wagon to back up easily and effectively no matter where you want to move the trailer. When you use this system you will be able to enjoy backing up your trailer to wherever you want it smoothly and easily, while only having to worry about acceleration and braking.

A Modified Interior

The Alltrack comes with a custom interior that is designed differentiate itself from the standard Passat noticeably. The upgraded seats in the vehicle are 14-point power-adjustable with Alcantara material on the sides and a custom “7 Summits” patterned center. The seats are designed to be highly comfortable and supportive, and come with several different leather options as well as massage and heating and ventilation options. The interior also has “Alltrack” badged sillplates and floor mats.

The Alltrack is a good all-around vehicle that families can trust to get them where they need to go, but if you live in the United States you will have to go with a VW SUV if you want the same level of capability that the Alltrack offers. The Tiguan offers many of the same handling and performance capabilities that the Passat Alltrack does, just on a larger platform.

 

A Look at the Volkswagen Beetle R-Line

February 18, 2015

VW Beetles are known for being cute, and have taken the spotlight in movies like The Love Bug for years for this reason, but one thing they usually aren’t considered as sporty or fast, until the R-Line that is. Volkswagen is releasing a new version of the Beetle known as the R-Line that comes with turbocharged power and enough performance features to excite the most demanding thrill seekers. While it’s not a Buggati Veyron by any stretch, the variation comes with more than enough power to do burnouts or fly around corners at breakneck speeds, and it’s a blast to take down winding roads in the back country.

volkswagen beetle r line

Power and Performance

The Little VW Beetle R-Line is a powerhouse performer of a vehicle that comes equipped with a 2.0 liter TFSI four cylinder engine that puts out a whopping 210 HP and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, monstrous figures for such a compact vehicle. It can travel from 0 to 60 in just 6.7 seconds and has a smooth six-speed manual transmission for changing between gears quickly and effectively.

During fast acceleration there is a quick bit of turbo lag, but once your over that initial hump the car feels very powerful and the engine seems quite substantial for just 2.0 literls of displacement. Where the car truly shines though isn’t in its acceleration but in its handling. The steering wheel on the car is flat bottomed and steering mechanics are very stiff providing a tight feeling of control. You’ll be tempted to corner at high speeds in the Beetle and it will handle thos quick corners deftly time and time again. One of the best things about the Beetle R-Line is just how in-control you’ll feel when behind the wheel.

A Menacing Exterior

It’s hard to imagine any Beetle being intimidating or even looking very sporty but thanks to the duck-tail shaped spoiler and the custom R-Line wheels and badging this Beetle manages a certain edge. It still has the cute Beetle look, but it’s got a certain level of underlying aggression that carries over into the interior styling as well.

A Performance Interior

Inside the Beetle you’ll be overwhelmed by all the black and chrome accents that you’re presented with. VW threw in just enough red accents to help breathe a bit more life into the interior and give it that racing edge that it needs.The custom racing bucket seats are supportive and comfortable. The flat-bottomed steering wheel gives it a sporty feel, and the full-length gas pedal will ensure that you can apply just the right amount of power at the right moment.

The Base Model is a Bit Lacking

The only area that the Beetle R-Line really comes up short is in the stock equipment that comes in it. At the base price of just over $26,000 you won’t be getting heated seats, an infotainment system, a reverse camera, adaptive cruise, power seats or most luxury features that buyers are coming to expect. Instead you’ll be presented with a pretty standard feature set that you will get on most utilitarian models. This is fine for the performance enthusiasts who don’t care about anything buy tearing around corners, but for all the regular commuters and long-distance trip takers who want a bit of luxury, the base model is a bit lacking. This means that you’ll have to spend a bit more on any of the added options that you want to add to the vehicle, and those extras can really drive up the price of this little hot hatch.

Overall the Beetle R-Line is an exciting little performer with plenty of life and a whole lot of character. It’s stylish to look at both inside and out, and it will give thrill seekers plenty to play around with. It can be a bit pricey though, and if you’re hoping for the total package with both luxury and performance you’ll have to prepare to get a higher trim level version of this Beetle to bring home.

VW Plans to Invest Millions in US Electric Car Charging Infrastructure

February 12, 2015

Volkswagen made it clear that they were invested in electric technology when they released their highly-regarded e-Golf and now they are showing once again that they have a high interest in the technology by committing to invest in infrastructure as well. VW is committing millions of dollars to developing the electric car charger infrastructure around the country, in order to make sure that electric vehicles have a place to charge up, but they say that they aren’t willing to go it alone and expect federal and state governments to chip in as well.

Combined Charging system

Adding Power to Dealerships

One of the ways that Volkswagen is supporting the new e-Golf is by planning to install fast-charge stations in many of their dealerships on both the east and west coast. This will give purchasers a location where they can go to charge up, and it will also make it easier for dealerships to offer test drives to prospective buyers and to keep the cars topped up in between. This should help encourage locals to purchase electric cars and might even help encourage dealerships to start stocking more of them as well.

BMW and Volkswagen Team Up

BMW and Volkswagen along with ChargePoint made a commitment to install 100 DC fast-charging stations along the East and West coast. A big part of the millions that the automaker committed to spending on this technology is wrapped up in that deal. The charging system comes with the charging technology to connect to either BMW or VW vehicles

The Need for Government Support

All this information came from Jog Sommer, the VP of Product Marketing and Strategy for Volkswagen of America and while he went into some details about what VW plans to do in the future, for the most part he left he focused more on the need for government help than anything else. He urged the government to continue offering incentives to e-car buyers as well as the automakers who produce the technology. He also wants the government to begin investing in the technology and infrastructure for electric cars so that a major set of charging stations can be set up around the country.

Only time will tell whether or not Sommers gets his wish, but one thing is for certain and that’s that electric vehicles are going to increase in popularity over the coming years, and Volkswagen is going to have an increasingly large investment in the technology as they work along with BMW and other automakers to make the technology a real possibility.

A Look at the Volkswagen Golf GTD

February 2, 2015

It’s been a long time since station wagons have been considered stylish vehicles, but with offerings such as the VW Golf GTD variant it appears that that’s changing completely. This sporty powerhouse is both stylish and luxurious within. It’s a great testament to diesel technology, and offers good performance while being relatively efficient as well.

golf gtd

A Reliable Power Source

The VW Golf GTD utilizes the 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine that’s use in the Golf TDI SportWagen as well. It gives it 181 HP and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. While this power output is more than enough for the GTD, the more robust size of the vehicle drops the 0 to 60 time and it takes around 7.9 seconds in order to get up to speed with the TDI Sportwagen managing in 7.5 seconds. Despite the increased size of the vehicle it remains quite fuel efficient. The larger size drops down the fuel efficiency of the vehicle a bit as well when compared to the Golf TDI but it’s still expected to get over 40 MPG making it quite the efficient vehicle for the level of power it has available.

Utility

For the loss of speed which is relatively minor you get a whole lot of versatility in the GTD. The rear-end of the vehicle is long enough to hold a plethora of cargo with ease. You’ll find yourself using the vehicle to haul furniture and other odds and ends that you never would have thought it could hold, and that’s the value in up-sizing to a station wagon.

A New Look

Aside from the longer form the GTD also get s a set of smoked taillights, and a different bumper and grille than what can be found on the SportWagen. It also has a set of twin-chromed tailpipes helping to cap off the interestingly fitting sporty station wagon look.

Unfortunately this beautiful creation isn’t likely to make its way into the United States. While diesel technology is becoming more popular and the station wagon form-factor is making a comeback, it doesn’t have the same level of popularity here that it does over in Europe, and that’s where it’s being released for the moment. It’s available in Europe now, and we’ll be lucky to see it cross overseas anytime soon or at all for that matter.

If you’ve all but made up your mind that you want a sporty little diesel vehicle the best you can do at the moment is the Golf TDI Clean Diesel. While it isn’t quite as sporty, it’s got plenty of spunk and it relies on the same impressive technology that makes the GTD variant special.

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